When teaching writing it’s important to show students how to do it and show them good examples of that genre of writing.
Our fifth graders recently had to write a multi-paragraph essay on whether or not to support the Revolutionary War from the point of view of the colonists.
To write this prompt well one needs:
- content knowlege of the American Revolution
- knowledge of the genre of persuasion
- writing vocabulary (e.g. drafting, revising, and conventions)
As this writing comes at the culmination of a unit on the revolution, the content knowledge can be built through the story selections. However, even if students learn everything you want them to about the War and its causes, they will not learn how to write persuasively by osmosis.
Rather than focus on everything at once, we chose to focus on teaching students to write persuasively.
Here’s a list of examples of persuasive writing to examine with students (found via Twitter):
- Ahlberg, Janet, and Allan Ahlberg. 1999. The Jolly Pocket Postman
- Caseley, Judith. Dear Annie
- Cronin, Doreen. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
- James, Simon. Dear Mr. Blueberry
- Orloff, Karen Kaufman. I Wanna Iguana
- Pak, Soyung. Dear Juno
- Rylant, Cynthia. Gooseberry Park
- Stewart, Sarah. The Gardener
Update: Here are a few others…I Wanna Iguana, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, The Great Kapok Tree, My Brother Dave Is Delicious.